Speaking to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, central operations manager David Pawson and code compliance officer Stuart Gallyot said although the pubco wanted to help tenants, it was not in a position to provide advice.
“The market-rent only (MRO) option is at the forefront of people’s minds and we’re starting to get some publicans approaching their PDMs asking if we can tell them the advantages of taking MRO over the tied model. We’re very concerned about providing that advice. We’ve got a conflict of interest and we don’t want to misrepresent anything – we don’t want people to go MRO, because we think we can offer better services and support.
“We can’t provide independent advice. It’s like going to your pension company and asking them for pension advice. It’s clearly wrong for us to provide advice on which direction people should go when we would prefer them to stay tied. We’re asking PDMs to say in a very human way, we’d love to give you advice, but we can’t."
Pawson added: “Trade bodies like the ALMR, the BII and the FLVA are filling that gap. We have a genuine concern about rogue trainers who won’t be providing independent or professional advice and are looking to line their own pockets. We’ll also be pointing people towards the adjudicator’s office once Paul Newby takes up his post this or next week and towards any guidance they can offer.”
The first of a series of joint workshops from the ALMR, the BII and the FVLA on the pubs code will kick off on 26 May. Places will be free for members and £50 for non-members. A full Q and A on the pubs code and what it means for licensees is also available on the PMA’s website.
Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords are set to debate the final version of the code before it comes into effect at the end of May.